LIVONIA, LA (WAFB) - A teacher at Livonia High School in Pointe Coupee Parish has been placed on administrative leave after being accused of locking a student in a closet.
The Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office confirms they are investigating the incident, but after interviewing the teacher, the district attorney's office has said they will not be pursuing charges.
Superintendent Kevin Lemoine says the teacher is still on leave however as their investigation continues.
The mother of the child, Danielle Anderson, says the teacher punished her 13-year-old daughter by locking her in a dark closet with a heater on for about two hours. She believes the punishment went too far.
"It needs to be stopped and it's not fair," Anderson said. "It's not acceptable because you there to teach the kids, you're not there to torture them like that because God forbid if he would have just opened up that closet and my child would have been dead, then what?"
The alleged abuse is said to have happened Friday, August 17 at Livonia High. Anderson says the young girl got in trouble for blurting out answers and being disruptive during class. That's when she says the teacher forced her into the small closet, turned out the lights, and locked the door. She says her daughter was expected to complete what the teacher described as "punishment work."
"My child was beating on the door to get out and he didn't let her out," she added.
The mother told WAFB the teen did not finish the work, but was let out of the closet at the end of class Friday, but when she showed up Monday without the assignment, she says the teacher locked her in the closet again. Anderson says her daughter was in the closet when the teacher called her to explain. "That's when I decided to get in my vehicle and go to Livonia and actually have a sit down with the principal and the teacher," she said.
At that meeting, she says the teacher admitted to the claims and even tried to make it right, but she's not satisfied. "He did apologize to me and told me he was sorry, but it still doesn't still doesn't sit well with my child being in a closet," Anderson added.
WAFB's Scottie Hunter asked Anderson how she would like the school to handle the situation. "I want for him to be removed from Livonia High School because I feel like what you did was not in the handbook and it's not right," Anderson answered.
She also hopes Livonia High administrators will take the claims seriously and make sure something like this does not happen again. "I feel like they're trying to sweep this up under the rug and just forget that it happened and I don't like that," she said. "It's basically why I called you all, to put it out there so nobody else child will have to deal with what my child went through."